What Matters Most

As we begin the series, Thin Places, you’re invited to examine Scriptures and devotional reflections on developing a conversational relationship with God. These reflections are taken from Dallas Willard’s Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God.

Monday – Deuteronomy 8.3. “People are meant to live in an ongoing conversation with God, speaking and being spoken to by him. God’s visits to Adam and Eve in the garden, Enoch’s walks with God, and the face-to-face conversations between Moses and Jehovah are all commonly regarded as highly exceptional moments in religious history. Aside from their obviously unique historical role, however, these moments are not meant to be exceptional at all. Rather, they are examples of the normal human life God intended for us: God’s indwelling of His people through personal presence and fellowship.” Talk with God, telling Him the truths you need to hear.

Tuesday – 1 Samuel 3.1-10. “A touching, informative and profound story is that of the child, Samuel, learning to recognize God’s voice, which he experienced as an audible voice. Because God rarely spoke and gave no visions at this time in Israel’s history, Eli, Samuel’s old mentor, had not discussed such things with Samuel. When he realized it was God’s voice calling Samuel, Eli mentored him in his response. Thus began one of the most remarkable careers of any person who has ever lived before the Lord, fully justifying the phrase “conversational relationship.” Wrap yourself in the person of young Samuel, and feel his wonder at what was happening.”

Wednesday – Isaiah 30.21. “The still, small voice–or the inner voice–is the preferred and most valuable form of individualized communication for God’s purposes. God usually individually addresses those walking with him in a mature, personal relationship using this inner voice, proclaiming and showing forth the reality of the kingdom of God as they go.”

Thursday – Colossians 2.2. God wants to produce His character in us. “We have witnessed the painful confusion of individuals who try to determine God’s will and make dreadful errors. They force a desperate whim or chance event to become a sign from God. When it is not, they sink into despair. Quoting E. Stanley Jones from his book, Victorious Living, ‘The development of character must be the primary purpose of the Father. He will guide us, but he won’t override us.’” Consider a decision you made that you now believe was wrong. Did it produce more character–integrity, simplicity, concern for others? Reflect on how it can still work good in you.

Friday – Psalm 143.10. “Some would say that the idea of ‘hearing God’ is a presumptuous and even dangerous idea. But should we expect anything else, given the words of Scripture, and the heritage of the Christian church? As Christians, we stand in a millennia-long tradition of humans who have been addressed by God. Read today’s Scripture passage aloud, slowly. Sit in the words for a few minutes. Notice how personal this phrase is: ‘for you are my God.’ Relish that. Then, ask God specifically what you need to be taught from his good spirit.”

Saturday – 1 Samuel 3.9. We need helpers along our life’s journey.“The writings of great Christians of the past help us identify experiences of God’s speaking, just as Eli helped Samuel. They assure us that the same Spirit who delivered the Scriptures to holy men and women of old speaks today in the hearts of those who gather around the written Word to teach and to learn.” List people you could talk with about how they hear God in their lives. Don’t dismiss those who are quiet, but communicate a calm sense of the presence of God. Choose one person from your list and connect with them.